ABSTRACT

Where does it come from, this vast blanket of thingscoffeepots and laptops, window fittings, lamps and fence finials, cars, hat pins, and hand trucks-that make up economies, mobilize desire, and so stir up controversy? The question leads to others because nothing stands alone-to understand any one thing you have to learn how it fits into larger arrays of physical objects, social sentiments, and ways of being. In the world of goods, as in worlds of any other sort, each element is just one interdependent fragment of a larger whole.1